Friday, February 27, 2009

I Make My Own Baby Food. Really.

You don't even know me and I bet you're shocked I make baby food. Well, sister, nobody's more surprised than me. After all, I've never even made adult food.  

Shortly before the girls turned six months old, I sent my husband out to Jewel because I've successfully faked a nervous disorder related to the grocery store.  The list included baby-friendly items like sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  He was understandably confused so I explained my plans to make all of the twins' food myself.  He laughed, crossed out these items and wrote in big letters: JARS OF BABY FOOD. In his defense, I often claim I'm going to do things I don't actually do: Write a book. Go to the gym. Get a divorce. 

"What, you don't think I can do it?!" I shouted.  "It's easy!"  

"So is boiling some damn pasta for dinner, but you don't do that."  Oh, he didn't actually say that, mind you.  He's too terrified of me to say something like that. But I know he was thinking it. 

I visited and set out to make recipes like "squashy sweet potatoes" and "banana-cado surprise."  The site has helpful tips for adding "a little extra yum!" like sprinkling cinnamon atop an otherwise flavorless vat of pureed oatmeal  or "a little extra cling!" to too-thin mixtures by stirring in some rice cereal. I tried not to let the blatant enthusiasm denoted by rampant exclamation points deter me.

Within a day I had a freezer-full of little cubes of food and a new smug attitude.  I could finally join that elusive club of breast-feeding baby-wearing Earth mothers. I MADE MY OWN BABY FOOD.  I suddenly wanted to grow my hair past my ass and hug a tree.

This self-congratulatory mode lasted about a week, when I went to retrieve a few cubes of "blueberry avocado fiesta" and it was gone.  All of it. No more "yummy pumpko-passion" or "perfectly peachy parfait" and it occurred to me: Who the hell do I think I am?  Gerber has been doing this for thousands of years.  It's the reason their last name is on a bunch of jars of baby food and mine isn't. Who am I to mess with perfection?  It's like those people who make brownies from scratch.  You think you can do it better than Betty Crocker? If so, why isn't YOUR name on that box while you sit ass in Mexico downing margaritas and collecting royalties?

I ventured out and bought a case of Earth's Best baby food. It's organic so I figured I could retain a certain sense of smugness -- and over-priced -- so it's probably better than homemade. The girls took one look and refused to take a bite. I then tried to trick them by scooping it out of the jar and into a bowl. No can do.  So, now, months later, I'm still making purees and homemade recipes like I'm Alton Brown or that Barefoot Contessa or one of those other Food Network freaks. And you know why? Because I tried too hard. And you know what the lesson here is?  Don't try so hard. Because when you change your mind you're stuck making banana-applesauce pancakes once per week and your freezer is stuffed with frozen cubes you can't even use for a mid-day pina colada.

PS -- Notice the Halloween-themed place mat? This was at Christmas time. My kids, as previously noted, are obsessed with Halloween items.  I hope they're not going to be one of those Goth people who want to hook up with guys who look like Marilyn Manson.  I want them to bring home cute wholesome sorts that mommy will enjoy looking at (if, given her advancing age, she can still see by then).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yo Baby!

In my never-ending quest to monetize my identical twin girls, I have a new angle:  Meet Yo Baby!, soon to be a toddler rap sensation. (The exclamation mark is part of her new hip hop name, dig?) I don't think the other twin can cut it kickin' it with Eminem and Ja Rule. Her delicate demeanor is more suited to Christian rock so this will have to be a single gig.  Yo Baby! is the real thing, she's even willing to cut herself to look tougher (note the self-inflicted scratch on her cheek and bruise from purposely running head first into a wall.)  

This idea materialized when I realized mental illness reared its ugly head earlier than expected in Yo Baby!. Oh, I knew it would make an appearance sooner or later, given its deep roots in my family genome. I just hoped it would surface during the teenage years, when I could write it off as normal teenage angst rather than deep-seated emotional issues due to heredity and questionable mothering skills.

I always wondered what form it would take. Manic depression? Agoraphobia? Pyromania? No, ladies and gentleman, we have just a good old-fashioned case of obsessive compulsive disorder. Upon waking each morning, Yo Baby! insists on putting on her Halloween bib and then gesturing frantically for a shirt with a hood so she can saunter around all day with the hood up, bib fit snugly around it.  It's a bad-ass look and I had what Oprah likes to call a "light-bulb moment." I briefly thought it could be the Yo Babies! but her sister is really just a poser, only wanting the pumpkin bib every so often and tiring of the hood-up routine around snack time.  Yo Baby! goes ballistic if I try to take the bib, rummaging around in hysterical confusion much like a compulsive hand washer who can't find any soap.  And if you try to flip her hood down, she yelps like an injured puppy (I recorded the sound as I think it will mix well on her album).

My one concern with the name is that the Yo Baby yogurt people might try to sue us.  I'm thinking Yo Baby! can be the spokesmodel for Yo Baby yogurt -- it's her favorite -- thus avoiding any nasty litigation.  It may be a challenge to balance her sinister rap persona with an adorable yogurt-eating image but I'm good like that.

I'm trying to write her first rap song, which is no easy task given she can only say "baby," "mama," "dada," and "no."  I think I can work something out with those lyrics. (Maybe a message piece about not having kids out of wedlock: "No mama? No dada?  No baby!")  If not, perhaps Ryan Sutter can help -- poet to songwriter is not much of a stretch.  My other option is to just sell her outright to a rap star.  I think she would fit in well on Snoop's reality show and Boss Lady seems nice enough.  

Does anyone have Jay-Z's number or is he yachting in St. Bart for the twelfth time this year?

PS - What happened to the "Doggy Dog" part of Snoop's name?  And what is Sean Combs going by these days?  Puffy?  Puff Daddy? Mr. Puff?  I need to brush up on these things if I'm going to be momager to a budding rap star. (Given I'll also be her lyricist do you think I'm entitled to more like 30 percent?) 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Charitable Giving Calls

I'm writing from the O'Hare airport on my way to Vail, Colorado.  In my fairly self-absorbed life, I think it's about time I give back to others and begin my long goal of charity work.  My first mission is utterly necessary and hopefully tax deductible.  Upon landing in Vail, I am proceeding directly to Trista Rehn Sutter's house, box of Golden Blonde L'Oreal Preference in hand.  

I haven't been watching The Bachelor this season -- MY LOSS INDEED.  But I did tune in last night for The Girls Tell All episode. The impromptu appearance of Trista and Ryan (what would you estimate his IQ is?) was an added bonus.  Why is Trista now brunette? Are there no mirrors in Vail? Regardless, her child is cute and we can only hope Ryan's dim-witted demeanor skips a generation.  I was, as always, wowed by his eloquent knack for poetry last night.  (Ryan should write Trista a haiku explaining her dark hair looks like ass and save me the trip.)

Now, moving on.  Why did Charlie O'Connell's little lady Sarah feel it necessary to announce he had a drinking problem on national television?  I, personally, like him better wasted. And did he get infinitely hotter and more youthful or have I just been married too long?  If that's what going off the sauce does for one's looks I really should consider it. (Pause for brief ruminating...)  Okay, I considered it. Ancient-looking and buzzed I shall remain. 

What do you think family gatherings are like when Rebecca Romijn is standing next to Sarah? Can they even hear each other with the three-story gap between their heads? Somebody buy that munchkin a foot stool.  And how much weight did Sarah lose in the last three years? She's like half her former size. I need to move to Los Angeles...  I think you're required by law to stay under 105 pounds or they ship your ass back to wherever you came from.  Last time I was in L.A. I felt like I was starring in Honey, I Shrunk the Entire Female Species but Rick Moranis forgot to shrink me.

Now, upon landing back at O'Hare after Trista is restored to her former glory, I am immediately embarking on a less pleasant but more important mission: scaring that melanoma-destined freak Natalie out of Chicago.  I suspect she is single-handedly responsible for Chicago being named the third most miserable city in the U.S. simply because she lives here.  I am bringing a psychiatrist with me to back up my preliminary diagnosis of narcissistic split personality disorder.  We haven't met that "laid back" persona she swears she has inside her and I'd like to take her at her word that this personality exists.  I don't think I need explain the narcissism aspect of my diagnosis (except maybe to Ryan).  

How long did that Stephanie survive in this game?  Is she part amphibian?  I didn't know it was anatomically possible for a human beings' eyes to be that far apart.  And, for the record, I hope they don't make the chirpy chick who got the "friend" line (the one with the nifty hotdog theory) the next Bachelorette.   Now, I am going to retire to my bed to further lament that I missed an entire season of excellent television programming.

PS -- And I guess I should mention that I'd rather sleep with Don Rickles than Jason. When Chris the host is hotter than the bachelor, someone in casting should get some walking papers.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hugh Jackass Ruins Academy Awards

Let me start by quoting Penelope Cruz (without the accent): This will take more than 45 seconds, I can tell you that right now.  I should tell you up front that: a) I did not see even one movie nominated for an award; and b) I didn't even watch the whole thing.  This in no way disqualifies me from the following commentary, as I bet each of the Academy members can boast the same thing.
  • Notice when Jennifer Aniston was on stage with Jack Black that the cameraman panned to Brad and Angie?  I wish Angie was mouthing "bitch" to Brad at that very moment. The Academy producer should have told her to do that as if it was part of a funny little script but it really wasn't.  WHY AM I NOT A PRODUCER???  (As an aside, 40-year-old women should never wear a braid atop their heads.  Especially when they will be two feet in front of their ex-husband and the wench who stole said husband. I'm just sayin'...)
  • Need it be said Hugh Jackman will not only never be invited back as a host, he might not be invited back as anything. Ever.  If that guy is the Sexiest Man Alive, I am the incarnate of Cleopatra.  Bring back Billy Crystal or Steve Martin (yum).  Stat.
  • Did you see the hot and very young little number Virginia Madsen walked the red carpet with?  She is the celebrity spokesmodel for Botox (really she is) and I'd say it's working! Botox should have a new campaign that each new injectee gets herself a little 20-something to take home for a night. WHY AM I NOT A MARKETER???
  • I almost missed Sarah Jessica Parker's ridiculous ensemble because I was up on the tv screen trying to french Daniel Craig. But when I was pried off, Sarah Jessica's boobs nearly came through the tv and hit me in the forehead.  When did her breasts get so mammoth and buoyant?  Is she trying to convince Matthew Broderick not to leave her? I would suggest donning a Nathan Lane mask instead...
  • Was the Academy not told that Mickey Rourke's dog died this week?  The dog he called his soulmate?  Sean Penn has Robin Wright, a few kids, a famous ex-wife who is not a virgin and a plethora of other comforts in life. Would it have killed them to give it to the sad, dogless guy? 
  • Who is in charge of the Academy Award guest list?  For example, why is Lisa Rinna at the Academy Awards?  Is she even on tv let alone the movies?  Regardless, don't tv people know that movie people think they are better?  Why do I have to repeatedly explain how Hollywood works to Hollywood.  Sheesh.
  • I hope Joaquin Phoenix was waiting outside to kick Ben Stiller's ass (or maybe shoot him in the leg or something) and then he writes his first rap song from jail about the assault.  Maybe then people will start to believe him.
  • Why wasn't Christian Bale the presenter for best cinematography and then he could have started screaming like a lunatic at the winner?  WHY AM I NOT AN ACADEMY AWARDS SCRIPT WRITER?
That's all I got. Maybe by next year I will have seen this year's nominees and can offer more thoughtful commentary (a year late). 

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Cafe Crazies

Sometimes I go to a cafe near my house to do some work.  And here's what I'm learning: I don't like people who hang out in cafes.  I actually don't tend to like people in general but these cafe-going sorts are particularly grating.  Let's be clear that this isn't a Starbucks. I bet the people who hang there are more like the sales / consultant types who work from home and if left to their own devices might literally bore themselves to death so they need to escape their houses to avoid certain yet unintentional suicide.

No, this cafe seems to attract the creatives, the intellectuals, the artistes, if you will.  People without day jobs who linger for hours and whose goal in life may be to irritate me.

I already mentioned the whiny woman who needed a copy of He's Just Not That Into You, a swift kick in the ass and a few tequila shots.  Today, I had the pleasure of sitting next to two PhD students of gender studies. I had no idea there was such a degree. Imagine the endless career opportunities upon graduation!  Regardless, one sat down and immediately announced her sexual orientation to the entire cafe (she's gay). Apparently the term "sexual preference," which a male professor inadvertently used, enrages her.  "It's not a preference!"  Okay, fair enough.  The other student, whose sexuality was not announced, doesn't agree it's a derogatory term. Fast forward about 25 minutes into this (loud, lengthy) debate and it turns out the offended one slept with this professor and apparently doesn't want him to get the wrong idea she is straight. (I mean why would he get that idea one wonders???) So her friend suggests she simply treat everyone in the class the same way she treats the professor and he'll get the hint.  "YOU MEAN SLEEP WITH THE WHOLE CLASS???" I wanted to yell back at them.  Then they discussed how she should handle this situation ad nauseam and were still at it when I left.  I hope to never know how this saga ended.

I've never seen a group of people who don't know each other and just happen upon the same coffee shop take themselves so seriously.  Maybe Starbucks with all the boring people would be better...  Or the library.  My understanding is people aren't allowed to talk in there.

Okay, speaking of sexual orientation (there was no easy transition here), I endured the horror of hearing a Nick Lachey song on the radio yesterday. I almost drove right to the radio station to file a complaint for assaulting my eardrums. I'm also looking into if I can sue Mr. Lachey directly.  The song is called Patience and it's a plea to a new girlfriend (Vanessa?) to be patient with him because his heart was still healing from an old love (Jessica?).  It makes that song Womanizer by Britney Spears appear to be a Beethoven masterpiece.  You can listen to it here, but I warn you:  the contents of your stomach may immediately catapult into your esophagus and out of your mouth.

PS -- Regarding my cafe story, you do realize I'm not anti-gay, rather just anti-loud, correct?  My next cafe story, like my first, will focus on a heterosexual annoying person just to make sure we all understand this....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tonya Harding Sports Bangs, Gets Pissed

"Holy shit!" is right, Tonya.  These bangs are acceptable on a 14-year-old from Long Island. (I should know, I had them. But mine sort of curled up rather than down...)  But, felony or no felony, not on a 40-year-old woman.  You need to click on the link.  Stat.  It's one of those little "glad to be me" pick-me-ups we all need once in a while.  I was feeling like a big fat loser today until I saw this. "Well, at least I'm not Tonya Harding!" I cackled manically to myself.  (Why are people still interviewing her anyway?  Bash one person's knee in and you're a celebrity for life.)

In other entertainment news, Mickey Rourke's life-saving chihuahua died IN HIS ARMS-- and you know what that means, people!  An Oscar speech for the record books. My bet is he gives a full-on dog eulogy that will replace my all-time favorite Academy Award acceptance ever, the "you like me" Sally Field classic.  Dear God, I can't wait for the crazy Sunday night.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Way Jose'!!!

I spent the better part of the morning in a verbal altercation with a three-year-old monster named Emma at this crummy playroom that did not blare Madonna like this one for my listening pleasure. I am, by the way, not changing Emma's name to protect her identity.  She should learn now that behaving in an unbecoming manner could make her blogosphere fodder and to shape up.  Emma (I wish I knew her last name) was playing in one of those obtrusive plastic houses when one of my kids (who is much cuter than Emma) started looking in the window and waving in a very friendly, adorable manner.  Emma storms over to the window and shouts, "Leave me alone!  Go away! Go play on the slide!" And my (have I mentioned adorable?) child starts crying with her precious little lip trembling with hurt feelings.  I very nicely said, "She can play here too. Let's share."  And Emma screamed, at the top of her lungs, "NOOOOO WAY JOSE'!!!"  And slammed the window shut. In our faces. I shoved it back open and told her that yes, my daughter can in fact play there and that she wasn't being a very nice little girl.  And then:

Emma: She cannot!
Me: She can too!
Emma: Cannot!
Me: Can too!
Emma: Cannot!
Me: She can too you little brat!  

I looked around to see if there'd be any witnesses if I pinched Emma really hard and wondered who this Damien reincarnation belonged to. Just then an alarmingly skinny platinum blonde reading Self magazine looked up and said, "Emma, play nice" and went back to her magazine, hopefully to an article listing the warning signs of anorexia.  Later Emma climbed up on some tall bookshelf and while one of the workers saved Emma's life her mother sat nearby filing horrendously long nails and laughing hysterically like a hyena on her cell phone to presumably the funniest person alive.

This episode made me realize if I don't lighten up I'll become like that crazy-ass nanny in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle when she goes to the school to confront the bully and threatens to rip his f-ing head off if he doesn't leave the kid alone.  And that maybe Emma was just sick of being ignored by a lady who was but one carrot stick away from death.  And that very few people can pull off platinum blonde hair.

PS -- Is pinching a child a crime?  If so, misdemeanor or felony?  Just checking.

PSS -- Did you know Rebecca DeMornay used to live with -- and perhaps even sleep with -- Tom Cruise?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Case of the Moldy Bread

Just when I started to like humans again as a species I do an inane thing like visit the grocery store.  Apparently the International Society of Stupid People is holding its annual convention at the Jewel on Ashland in Chicago this year.  Next time my husband is out of town and can't do the grocery shopping the girls will just have to do without milk. I'm sure Crystal Light is just as nutritious anyway.   

Doesn't it just chap your ass when you think you picked the good line in the grocery store because it's the shortest only to realize you must have gotten in the "imbeciles only" lane, sort of like the "10 items or under lane" but for morons?  So I'm behind what I think is a mother and her adult daughter (the similarities in intelligence gave it away) when the mother discovers the bread she is buying is moldy. It's packaged bread, I'm not sure how she could see mold plus who inspects items for mold in the checkout line. If you are so inclined, please do so while you are still shopping.  Regardless, a debate ensues about whether they should go get more bread, or if that bread will also be moldy "because it probably came from the same shipment." They get snotty with the cashier, because everyone knows that cashiers are responsible for sniffing out the moldy bread on their one bathroom break.  After a drawn out discussion on the merits of walking about 20 feet to pick out new bread, the mother takes this bold step and comes back about half an hour later. With bread. That they inspect and don't buy.  

So in the midst of this intense scrutiny of bread, the daughter had tossed the Star magazine she was reading onto the belt. So the cashier rang it up. Fairly logical. Except the daughter apparently had no intention of buying this magazine and because she assumed the clerk was a mind-reader a whole refunding process ensues.  THEN, after the refunding and groceries are paid for, the mother suddenly remembers she had coupons.  Presumably not for bread.

During all this, they don't push their grocery cart up so the bag guy can load their groceries. They proceed to get huffy when my groceries start banging into their bags.  They have the poor 16-year-old clerk in such a fluster she's about to cry.  And then, the daughter says haughtily, "We're never shopping here again!" to which I thought "GOOD!"  Except I didn't think it, I sort of yelled it and I suspected they were waiting outside to pummel me (they weren't small people, these moldy bread haters.)  But here I am, safe and sound at home, hoping they are hospitalized for non-bread-related mold poisoning later this evening.

PS -- I'd like to state for the record that the man pictured above was not seen at the grocery store today. (He strikes me at a litigious sort so I thought I better cover myself.) That photo is completely unrelated to this post. It's the best I could do on short notice. Deal with it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Men to Avoid on Valentines Day -- And Always

Happy Valentines Day, people!  I hope you got something good. I got bupkis.  I need to rethink my Valentine's Day stance.  I guess I could pull a "you don't even know me!" crying fit with crocodile tears the size of gumdrops so from here on out I get lots of stuff each year.  (Is it rude to ask for cash?)  The best part is he'll be completely confused because in the six Valentine's Days we've been together I've only displayed utter disdain for this holiday. It's a perfect plan. I'll bring on the crazy later tonight.

Regardless, I thought it was a good occasion to list the types of men to avoid so you can learn from my mistakes without actually ever having to change the locks or file a restraining order. You're welcome.

1) He declares himself the "mayor" of a particular drinking establishment.  Ladies, this is a clue that he will be at said drinking establishment his every waking hour hitting on waitresses in itsy bitsy short shorts. I informed this particular fellow that being a mayor is actually a part-time job in some cities in a gentle attempt to pry him out of what I would describe as a dingy Irish pub with the charm of a leprechaun suffering from that human flesh-eating disease.  I'd provide a link to it but suffice to say if they don't have the money to have their bathrooms cleaned, web design fees certainly aren't in the budget. This charmer also informed me I could be "taller and younger" but he "loved me anyway." (For the record I was 32 at the time and he was 33. I stand 5 feet, 4 inches tall.)  If you do hook up with the mayor of a venue, might I recommend it at least be of a classy piano bar or such where the choices of wine aren't limited to "red or white."

2) He's fired while living with you and somehow forgets to mention it.  It took me more than two months to catch on, but when I did I suggested (very nicely) that I couldn't be expected to support us both on my nonprofit salary.  He countered that I used a lot of paper towels and we could save some money if I wasn't so wasteful.  He didn't need a job, people! I just needed to limit my use of paper products. 

3) He uses the word "entrepreneur" 45 times in the course of a two-hour date.  I went on one date with the entrepreneur. I got it when he mentioned he was an entrepreneur the first time so I'm not sure why he felt it bore repeating. Does the Guinness Book of World Records keep track of such things?  I started counting on the third reference as I decided to play my own little drinking game to make the date more interesting. We went to this place where I chugged about 7 margaritas to ease the pain.  He drank water. I'm not sure what annoyed me more, his starting every other sentence with "Well, as an entrepreneur..." or his sobriety.  He didn't drink Sunday through Thursday  nights I was told because he "worked out every weekday morning since as an entrepreneur it was important to keep his energy levels up."  If you don't drink during the week DON'T DATE DURING THE WEEK.  

4) He sleeps with half your sorority while dating you. And it's not that he wouldn't have slept with the other half, they just had better taste than the rest of us. I'm not sure how to elaborate on this. Just don't date this person.  Especially for four years.

5) He tells you he is "a cold-hearted bastard who has never been in love."  On the first night of your Caribbean vacation.  Paid for by your employer. (See, this is the type of information I would have liked either ahead of time or after the trip.)

6) His credit is such that you sign the apartment lease alone.  I suggest avoiding this type of guy, but the good news is if you get suckered in it's easier to evict him when he gets fired and rather than seeking viable employment starts counting paper towels. (He was such a catch he garners two mentions...)

Okay, hopefully my husband isn't out getting me a gift as I'm excited to pull a Glenn Close. "I won't be IGNORED, Dan."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Boo! Scariest Celeb List for Friday, the 13th

Here are the five celebrities that scare me most and why:

1) Daniel Craig.  It's not because he is frightening. Lord have mercy no!  He scares me because of what I might to do him if we ever met.  I bet the unsolicited licking of someone's face and torso is a crime of some sort. And the worst part is, he'd probably be offended when I was really just trying to be friendly.

2) Uma Thurman. I know giraffes who are sexier. But the reason she scares me is this quote: "Desperation is the perfume of the young actor. It's so satisfying to have gotten rid of it. If you keep smelling it, it can drive you crazy."  I always wondered why she married Ethan Hawke. Now we know!  They sat around spewing pseudo-philosophical crazy-ass shit to each other all day because nobody else wanted to talk to them.

3) Denise Richards.  It is, in fact, so not complicated. Why doesn't she just take the handsome settlement from Charlie Sheen and move to Idaho to raise her girls like Demi Moore did?  Now dance-lovers everywhere will be tortured by her during what should be fun family television.  (What do you want to bet she sleeps with her dancing partner - if he likes girls - and several judges?)

4) Sharon Stone.  Please tell me she didn't really want to Botox her son's feet?  Anybody? Please? (And what is she doing in this photo?  Anybody?  Please?)

5) Kelly Ripa.  I'm no doctor, but don't you think her Prozac prescription is too strong? Like maybe if it's halved she'll still be abnormally upbeat but not psychotically overjoyed?  I understand why she's so cheery... pretty, great job, rich.  And that pip squeak she's married to seems really nice. But TAKE. IT. DOWN. A. NOTCH. Please.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oprah and Gwyneth Boozed It Up This Morning

Gwyneth Paltrow was on Oprah today.  Doesn't she bug the crap out of you?  I bet if she went to dinner with you and you wanted so split a big plate of fries she wouldn't.  Even if it came in one of those tall fancy cylinders lined with parchment paper and the menu listed them as pommes frites. (Don't you feel like you're consuming less calories when they're called pommes frites instead of fries?)  She was drinking wine before noon, though. And that certainly adds some points.  (Ever notice Oprah drinks sometimes during cooking-related segments? If I'm in the audience, I'm pissed they're not passing it around to everyone. I think she can afford it.) Another positive (I'm working on my karma) is Gwyneth is no longer channeling Rapunzel and has cut her hair to a reasonable length.  

I remember soon after she got engaged to Brad Pitt she was on Jay Leno or one of those shows and was blathering on and showing off the ring. She had the giddy, schoolgirl glow of someone who was about to marry the world's hottest man. Or so she thought. I specifically remember thinking, "You better tone it down there a notch, sister. NOT going to happen."  

Now for my favorite Gwyneth Paltrow quote:

"I just do things I think will be interesting and that have integrity. I hate those tacky, pointless, big, fluffy, unimportant movies." -- Gwyneth Paltrow

She must be talking about Duets with HUEY LEWIS (??!!) and Shallow Hal in which she wore a fat suit and was romanced by Jack Black. 

Famous people should never grant interviews. Ever.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Headlines and Virgins

Aren't some headlines just so delicious that you don't want to ruin it by clicking to read the entire story? It's sure to disappoint. Like this one on Yahoo! News this morning:  "Christian Bale needs to work on anger issues, sister says."  Ya think???  Don't you love the above pic published in The Sun in the UK?  Like if they didn't circle Christian Bale we might be confused as to which one he is.  The other circled one is the sister who accused him of assaulting her and their mother. Listen, call me materialistic, but if my sibling had gazillions of dollars I'm kissing a lot of ass hoping they give me some, not filing assault charges and talking to the tabloids.  

In related news (okay, it's not remotely related but I can't think of a good segue) we took the girls to this indoor playroom and it was kind of cool because they blasted fun music instead of the "I Love You, You Love Me" variety that makes you want to dull the senses with a tumbler of straight vodka.  I was just commenting to a lady who works there how much I enjoyed the music when Madonna's "Like a Virgin" starts blaring.  At a playroom for children.  I like early Madonna as much as the next guy, but at a playroom?  Because of this, I vote them by far the coolest place to bring your kids. Ever.  I'm sure some tight ass mom has complained by now and it's been deleted from the loop.  (BTW -- Borderline, best Madonna song ever. Agreed?)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Survey Says...

Chicago sucks.  According to Forbes magazine, Chicago is the third most miserable city in our United States.  Given I live in Chicago, you might think this upsets me.  Hell no!  I have been searching feverishly for a new excuse regarding my persistent and rampant bitchiness toward my husband. Given the girls are 15 months old now, the post-partum hormones thing is getting a bit stale. Especially for me.  I'm so ready to move on to a fresh new excuse I can exploit to its fullest. I was just about to settle on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but with spring upon us in less than two months I think I'll save that one.  Maybe drudge it up in November when I can milk it all winter long.  And then this little gem courtesy of Steve Forbes and his ilk!  It's not just me that is a miserable, it's our entire city!  

On a related note, did you find Richard Dawson kind of sexy?  I loved the way he french kissed every female contestant and stroked their hands like he wanted to do it in the back room while the family patriarch played the Fast Money round.  Did your extended family used to argue about which six of you should go on? And who would appear in what order because everyone knows you went down the line from smartest to dumbest?  And did Christmas dinner end in a drunken brawl because inevitably one of the cousins ranked everyone in the room from 1 to 10 on intelligence and it rubbed some people (usually the dumb ones) the wrong way?  Or maybe that's just a New York thing.

PS -- Is there such a thing as Motherhood Affective Disorder (MAD)? The symptoms include loving your children like crazy but wanting to take a large iron skillet to your husband's head for absolutely no reason at all.  I might have that ...  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Paula Dresses as School Bus for Grammy's

I must live under a rock because I had no idea the Grammy's were on last night until I woke up this morning and was greeted with these monstrosities when I turned on my computer. On an empty stomach no less. Why does Paula look so smug?  My theory is because she's hiding a flask of whiskey in her beehive.  Do you think there's an oversight organization for stylists like doctors have the AMA and lawyers have the American Bar Association? If so, do you think Paula's stylist is being sanctioned today?

And what about this M.I.A. person? (What is an M.I.A.?  I swear I haven't heard of about 70 percent of all the performers from last night.) Can child protective services be called before an infant is even born?  And all this coverage that Chris Brown beat up Rihanna so they dropped out. WHO ARE THEY? I'd be much more excited if Justin Timberlake punched Jewel. At least I've heard of them.

Speaking of the Grammy's, my taste in music is very questionable. My husband has tried to get me into Wilco but they are presumably way too talented for my liking. (He recently bought me a Wilco t-shirt.  Why????  I plan on buying him an Andy Gibb t-shirt to prove the point that nobody wants a shirt promoting an entity they don't enjoy just because their spouse does, especially an aging mother of twins.)   Some of my favorite songs, not necessarily in order of importance:
  • I Just Want to Be Your Everything -- Andy Gibb (RIP)
  • Waiting for Tonight -- JLo 
  • Copa Cabana -- Barry Manilow
  • Forever Your Girl -- Paula Abdul (I know!)
  • Opposites Attract -- Paula Abdul (I know! I know!)
And my all-time favorite, Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg. Of course if I ran into an old lover at the grocery store I'd hide in the cookie aisle until he left...  Regardless, I cried like a lunatic when Dan passed away.  And last time I heard The Leader of the Band Has Died I had to pull over to prevent a collision.

PS - I am at a cafe near my house. This girl sitting at the next table is blathering on to a bored friend about some guy who sends her one-word answers to her e-mails. But she thinks he's just intimidated by her. They have a connection. She thinks they could be together. He just moved to New York, where she wants to settle. I mean, how is she supposed to take that he moved to the very place she wants to live? They are soul mates. Kindred spirits. They have the same core values. Would it be inappropriate for me to scream at the top of my lungs: HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.  AS A MATTER OF FACT, HE'S NOT INTO YOU AT ALL.  I want to shoot her but I think the guy behind me is even more irritated than I am and might do it for me.

Rules for a Happy Marriage 101

There are a lot of books out there about the key to a happy marriage, mostly geared toward women because men are too stupid to know their marriage is in trouble until the divorce papers are delivered and we're already living with our new boyfriends. Save your money, ladies! It comes down to several crucial points, and by happiness I mean your happiness, the only kind that counts:

1. Marry someone substantially less good looking than you are. I say marry at least three points below yourself -- this minimizes the chance he'll cheat on you or leave you for the au pair. For example, if you're a ten, marry a seven. If you're a seven, marry a four. If you're a one or a two you'll have to get a little creative. In that case I suggest marrying a man who is incapacitated and can't leave the house without your assistance. Like one of those 800-pound people who need a crane to get up.  Or maybe someone in jail so you'll know where he is at all times.  We need only look at Hollywood to understand this rule.  Name one romantic comedy where the leading man was better looking than his co-star. I'll save you the trouble - you can't. Think When Harry Met Sally.  And look at Jennifer Aniston.  Where did marrying a guy equal or better looking get her?  Exactly.

2. Give him very little sex and only when you want something.  You don't have caviar and Cristal every night, do you?  Then why should he?  It should be a special occasion.  Like when  you want a $500 pair of shoes. Or a weekend in Aruba with your girlfriends.  Never ever do it just for free.  If you indulge him too often he'll come to expect it.  Like it's your marital obligation. He should be oh-so-very grateful you bestowed your loveliness on him.  Remember, you are way better looking than he is, he should be happy he gets to have sex with you at all. Also, don't do anything beyond the basics of what's required if you know what I mean. Save any special tricks for when you want that Tiffany's 10th anniversary band or similar.

3. He should be terrified of you.  If he's not constantly walking on eggs shells, your marriage is in peril. He should think that at any moment, with very little provocation, you could leave him. It's best if he believes you are so irrational that you'd give up everything the two of you built together because, for example, he left some dirty dishes in the sink.  If he's currently not deathly afraid of you: a) Start randomly and outrageously flirting with men who are uglier and poorer than he is. This demonstrates you could leave him at any time for anybody, not just some successful handsome dude. b) Make him think you are a bit unbalanced. You should bring your own special brand of crazy, but as an example: call him at work 45 times in one day. Pick a different thing to yell at him about in each phone call, preferably unimportant, minor offenses that didn't really bother you in the first place.  Mention things he did years earlier and even make some up.  When he starts letting your calls go right to voicemail, leave him a perfectly pleasant message about your dinner reservations this weekend and tell him you miss him.  The key, really, is to act perfectly sane 99.9 % of the time. You don't want him to divorce you, just to keep him anxious and nervous at all times because he knows what you're capable of the other 0.1%. At some point, he will suggest you visit a psychiatrist. Don't let this deter you -- it means the plan is working!  

4. Strip him of every shred of self-esteem he has.  Never compliment him. Except maybe once a year on his birthday or something. And even then make it about you like "You must be a really great guy to have landed me." If he starts thinking he's special, he may start looking around at other women.  He should believe that if not for you, he'd be living in his mother's basement.  Alone. Except for a bunch of ferrets.

Maybe I can combine the SAHM 101 class with the Happy Marriage 101 class and offer some kind of a discount... 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Jessica Simpson Loses It! (Not the Weight, Her Sanity)

Just when I thought nothing interesting would ever happen again in Hollywood and I'd have to resort to writing about boring crap forever like my life, fatty fatty boom boom Jessica Simpson has a mental breakdown on stage. Yippee! This must be how Greta Van Susteran feels when a cute toddler or fetching college coed goes missing.

So apparently Jessica couldn't remember the words to her songs and melted down in front of a live audience and had to leave the stage early (is this a genetic condition?).   But not before she announced - MID PERFORMANCE -- how much she loved and missed Tony Romo.  Has she not read The Rules, the bible of husband-hunting ?  There are rules Jessica!  Like, "never call a man and rarely return his calls." Oh, and, my personal favorite, "be a creature unlike any other."  (What does that mean???)  I think the point is, if you're not even supposed to return a man's calls, I'm certain proclaiming your undying devotion in a public forum before making an embarrassing hasty exit is a definite no-no.

OMG -- do you remember that one of the psychopaths who wrote The Rules wound up being left by her husband just when she was coming out with Rules for Marriage: Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work?  She then sued her cosmetic dentist for the breakdown of her marriage. Like men leave their wives because they don't like their veneers?Don't you think it was more likely he was sick of his wife not returning his calls?  (Her cosmetic dentist was the same one who did Hilary Duff's mouth.  Seriously. So maybe she had a point.) 

So, let's end with my all-time favorite Jessica quote -- and it has nothing to do with chicken or tuna or the sea:

"I respect the knowledge of the psyche. I would be a therapist if I weren't an entertainer." -- Jessica Simpson

Wait. Do you hear that?  It's the collective sigh of relief from all of us who have had, or will some day need, psychological intervention. Can you imagine being desperately in need of counsel and walking in to see JESSICA SIMPSON sitting there?  

(PS -- Dear Reader, I hope we know each other well enough by now that it goes without saying I don't actually think Jessica is fat.  I am facetiously commenting on the irony of what the media considers fat in our society. I do hope we don't have to have further disclaimers on such issues in the future.)

Where's the Fire?

I'm one of those girls who says they don't believe in Valentine's Day but I actually mean it. (And if you say that you don't care but really do just to confuse the crap out of your husband or boyfriend, I'm all for that too.  Let's keep'em guessing, shall we?)  The only time I've ever been remotely interested in this holiday is when I had just starting dating someone and was mildly curious if he considered me his girlfriend.  If so, especially in the delirium of early courtship, they tend to get you something.  It's a far less cumbersome litmus test than sitting down to read He's Just Not That Into You.

One year, I was dating a guy I'll call Buddy, only because his real name was equally inappropriate for a man in his early 30s.  Buddy was going to make me dinner on Valentines Day, and the jury was still out on whether I deemed that sweet or cheap.  The jury never officially convened to render a verdict, however, because of something that happened a few hours before dinner:  A Vermont Teddy Bear was delivered to my office.  The bear, for some reason that is still a mystery, was dressed as a fireman.  (Buddy was not a fireman, I'm not an arsonist and I see no other reason of all the bears available this was the one chosen.)  

I worked in a small office at the time and everyone under the age of 35 convened in my office for an emergency meeting.  We sat the bear on an empty chair so he could participate in the conversation and extinguish a fire if necessary.  After much debate (exactly 1 minute 12 seconds) we decided I would cancel dinner and go out drinking with my single friends instead where, with any luck, I could replace Buddy with another suitor that very evening.  I wasn't getting any younger, my adorable little assistant pointed out, and wasting even one night with a man I would never marry seemed frivolous.

The thing is, I'm not very confrontational and was terrified to call and cancel last minute. Aforementioned assistant calmly asked everyone -- including me -- to leave my office. On my way out, she asked for Buddy's phone number.  I gave it to her and she shut the door. About four minutes later she emerged from my office stone-faced and solemnly reported, "You'll never hear from him again."  To this day, I have no idea what was said. I imagine this must be how it is in the mafia.  Someone in "the family" just disappears one day and nobody really wants to know so it's never discussed.

Each year as February 14 approaches, I think fondly of Buddy. He was actually a decent guy, and I bet he found a nice girl who slept every night with the various stuffed animals he bestowed upon her until they married and moved to a house with a lovely white picket fence.  And that bear?  He bounced around our office, taking turns with whoever needed a pick-me-up and occasionally attending meetings in the conference room when we wanted to unnerve pushy sales people.

That was until my assistant quit to move home and marry her college sweetheart. It only seemed fitting the bear go with her. So we stripped him of his firefighting gear, dressed him up like a bride and sent him on his way.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Being a SAHM 101

This is my living room at about 4:30 pm yesterday. You might think, as a SAHM, that I would feel obligated to tidy up before my husband came home.  You'd be wrong.  If husbands come home to a clean, peaceful, well-maintained house each evening, they might get the impression that taking care of babies all day is a piece of cake.  And who wants that?  Ditto on your own personal appearance.  Even if I get myself prettied up to go to, oh say, Gymboree class, I make sure to take it down a notch before he gets home. My goal is to look as close to having been in a train wreck as possible without scaring the children.  Again, this goes to how stressful and tiring it all is. Husbands might get suspicious that being the stay-at-home parent is an easy gig if we look all fresh and perky at the end of the day.   

Similarly, when he asks how your day was, NEVER, EVER say it was great.  Saying "fine" every once in a while is acceptable just so you don't come across as a total downer. But the usual answer should be something like, "Well, Susie hit Alice over the head with that really heavy book about farm animals your mom gave them and then I had to call Poison Control because I thought Alice ingested some Ajax you left on the counter and there was a bit of a meltdown at music class ... (very heavy sigh) but enough about us, how was your day?"  Say the last part brightly, like you actually care how his day was.  Eventually he'll stop asking about yours, which means you're on the right track.  (Also, note how I cleverly wove in that he and his mother were partially to blame for the bad day but didn't dwell on it in a nagging manner.)

And if he dares ask "What did you do today?"  I suggest listing every single solitary thing you did starting from the moment you woke up until the second he walked in the door (but on the off chance you did anything fun, leave that part out). Because the implication of that question is that YOU DON'T DO MUCH.  The first few days of my SAHM career my husband would come home and ask that question  in what I thought was an accusatory manner and I would mumble something like, "Ummm, took care of twins?"  Day 4 that shit stopped. When he walked in that night I took out my handwritten note and began reading:

  • 6:01 am -- Woke up to crying baby after only two hours of total sleep 
  • 6:02 am -- Fed crying baby, second baby started crying
  • 6:03 am -- Tried to make another bottle while first baby went ballistic that her feeding had ceased; abandoned mission
  • 6:04 am -- Put bouncy seats next to each other and tried to feed babies at same time by alternating same bottle from one to the other
  • 6:05 am -- Remembered pediatrician said feeding them from same bottle was a no-no
  • 6:06 am -- Remembered pediatrician doesn't have twins and continued as is
  • 6:07 am - Burped baby #1, felt warm spit-up land inside my shirt and start sliding down my back

Well, you get the picture. I didn't even get to 6:10 am or changing a dirty diaper before he got the point.

And by all means, do not ever insinuate you got to see friends / had a nice lunch / watched Oprah or did anything else that could be construed as enjoyable. It will take weeks to undo the damage!  If he thinks you have any downtime whatsoever he might start expecting you to do laundry and empty the dishwasher and such.  Or God forbid, cook a meal.

Don't worry if you're already in the bad habit of trying to make your husband's life more pleasant. Just very gradually stop cooking and cleaning and looking well-kempt. Phase all of this out over the course of two months and he'll never have seen it coming. It's a scientific fact that men can't remember past about 60 days anyway so he won't have any recollection of his former life.

Really. I should teach a course...  (Oh, and if he ever suggests that he stays home and you work, you've failed miserably by making it look entirely too appealing and may need guidance beyond what I'm capable of providing. Unless of course, him staying home and you going back to work is your goal.  Which also has its merits as you would actually get to shower every day. Let's discuss that technique in other post, shall we?)

Babies for Sale

I've been looking for part-time work and suddenly it occurred to me: why am I the one looking for a job?  I'm not the one who came along and wreaked havoc on this family's finances.  If anything, my personal expenditures have plummeted to record lows as evidenced by dark roots down to my ears in otherwise blondish hair.  I'm not the one who consumes a gallon of organic whole milk each day.  I'm not the one who needs new educational toys each week to stay mentally stimulated. I'm not the one who drinks a bottle of pinot noir every night.  (Oh wait, that last one is me, but that's a direct result of the very people who should be seeking gainful employment.)  

My girls are identical -- I hear that is key to getting gigs, the theory being that if one is cranky you just do a switcheroo and whisk the other one onto the set. (Don't tell Steven Spielberg, but mine like to be pissy at exactly the same time as they seemingly want their mother to abuse prescription medications. But I don't see them pulling that shit with Clint Eastwood.)   Also, my girls have a distinct advantage over the Olsen twins in that they actually look like human beings.

My point?  (People, I always have a point.)  I am open to renting out my children for the right price.  (I will have to politely decline any feature films starring Christian Bale. If a wandering cameraman upsets him so deeply, I'd hate to see what a life-size dancing duck who sings Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath 45 times a day would do to his demeanor.)  All we require in our dressing room is:  ingredients necessary to make white russians, 20 cases of a medium-bodied red wine and a life-like cardboard cut-out of Daniel Craig.  Oh, and I guess some baby food but I don't want to seem high maintenance. 

I will make a most excellent momager!  The director will barely know I'm there. You won't see me hovering to make sure my kids aren't being exploited, I'll be too busy rummaging through the lead actors' trailers looking for personal memorabilia to sell on e-Bay.  Hollywood, make me an offer!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Christian Bale is Nice

When not assaulting the woman who gave birth to him, Christian Bale is apparently terrorizing cameramen on film sets.  (I hope it wasn't Danny Moder. I don't see Julia Roberts putting up with that sh--.)   Bale was infuriated when aforementioned cameraman stepped into his line of sight while filming the next Terminator movie.  It apparently distracted his concentration.  Dude, you're filming The Terminator.   If Arnold can do it, how much concentration does it really take? Or maybe (and TMZ didn't think of this angle), he's just staying in character on set like fine artistes are known to do.  Maybe it wasn't Christian yelling profanity-laced bloody murder after all, but his character.  

Regardless, does Christian not think about how his behavior impacts other people?  Like me. Now I'm stuck with the gut-wrenching decision of whether to toss him out of my top 5.  He's barely hanging in there at #5 as it is... But then I'd have to sit down and figure out who will take his spot.  (Does Christian not understand the fact I have twins and don't have a lot of time to sit around replacing him on my list when he acts like this????)  You know what, look at this picture of him... Does this look like a man who would needlessly berate an innocent and hard-working crew member? Christian, I forgive you!  I may even bump you up to #4 based on this photo alone...